This is unusual weather for early January but it may save some lives. In the past some kids have not been able to avoid the temptation to try to run cross lightly frozen ponds. They make it the first few feet then the thin ice shatters.

Well, in this weather there is no ice to temp anyone.

The late Highway Patrolman, Jim Walker, who was everybody’s friend, told me the open roads create another kind of temptation – speed. He said there are more serious high speed crashes when the winter roads clear.

Kimball and I have not tested winter crappie fishing locally in cold weather. You might want to try it. When it really got cold in January. it seemed like half of Shreveport headed to Toledo Bend. Boats would group up over a bend in the main channel often around one stump tight lining with minnows straight down about 16 feet. Huge crappie in the two-pound range were getting ready to head to the shallows. They were easiest to find while they were still grouped up.

Kimball dressed for the cold with the usual winter garb topped with a poncho to almost totally block the wind. She was so comfortable sometimes she’d go to sleep. Makes you wonder if that’s how I caught her, doesn’t it? There was a restaurant on the way down called the Silver Minnow that we tried to hit: Eggs. bacon, gravy, biscuits.

The crappie were so big I cleaned them with an electric filet knife.

I had a serious run-in with the ice when I was just a good sized kid. Dad’s farm lay in Cedar and St. Clair counties. The herd crossed Little Clear Creek under the bridge. We were moving the herd and I followed them on the ice that was at least 8 to 10 inches thick.

The herd made it. I fell through.

Dad immediately went into action. He got me out of the ice water that was below waist deep and told me to run to the house less than a quarter mile away. He stayed with me all the way telling me he was gong to spank me if I didn’t run. When I got to the house my wet clothes were frozen stiff.

Mom took over and got me dried off. Dad wasn’t going to spank me. He was battling frostbite and hypothermia. Worked.

Question? Does a mild winter leave more ticks and armadillos?

Gwen dropped her daughter, Brittany, off at Mizzou on Saturday. Her major will be English with an emphasis in creative writing. Maybe she’ll write something for us.

She finished high school a year early so there is plenty of brainpower there. KL